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Will1987 04-24-2007 09:15 AM

Some Ceramic Tile questions
I'm about to do a ceramic tile job. For some reason ceramic tile is an area I never did get much experience in. I'd like to do it right. I have a basic understanding just from being a handyman and carpenter and from some books, but I still have a few questions.

First off, one of the floors thats gonna get tiled is a landing that already has vinyl on it, plywood underneath. I was wondering if it's recommended to take the vinyl off first before tiling. From what I understand about adhesives, I'd have to use an epoxy adhesive on top of vinyl, and I hear thats both toxic and hard to work with. The trouble is of course that if I take the vinyl off, I'm gonna have adhesive to scrape off.

So: Can I use mastic type adhesive on vinyl thats over plywood? Also, can I use mastic adhesive on plywood itself? And if I have to take off the vinyl, whats the best kind fo adhesive remover to use?

also: when would a wire mesh be used as an underlayment?

Thanks a lot :D,

AndyD5 05-03-2007 03:40 PM

wire mesh is for strength as far as I know. my floor is concrete with vinyl and we used mastic and it worked very well since we had it we used it on the walls as well and worked great there too just straight onto wonderboard screwed to the studs. sub flooring is not really an issue where I live the concrete if not cracked is all that is required for a lot of different type floor. the mastic I have says it will apply to wood concrete and vinyl

glennjanie 05-03-2007 04:48 PM

Hello Will:
This has been discussed before on here and the pros prefer removing the vinyl, using a cementious underlayment board (which apperantly comes in 1/4" and many other thicknesses) then glue the tiles to that.
Leaving the vinyl would make the tile flex too much, leaving cracks in the grout if not breaking tiles.
We would appreciate before and after pictures.

Daryl in Nanoose 05-06-2007 08:12 AM

I always remove the vinyl first. Use a floor scraper to remove the adhesive then screw the plywood down so you will eliminate any squeaks. In small area's I use 1/4" cement board and 1/2" in large areas. I apply thin set under each sheet useing a 1/4" x 1/4" notched trowl. In areas that see water( bathrooms,laundry rooms) I tape all the joints but in areas that do not I push in thin set to fill up the joints then your ready to rock and roll.

MattCoops 05-20-2007 04:10 PM

You should not tile over vinyl. The Tile Council of North America (TCA) strictly prohibits. And it's just bad judgement, as the vinyl will cause the floor to fail over time.

You should remove the vinyl. Scrape the adhesive off the wood substrate. And install 1/4" backerboard underlayment (durock, wonderboard, hardi, or DensShield) over a bed of troweled thinset and screwed to manufacturer's specifications. Then use a modified thinset to install the tile.

A "wire mesh" is never used as an underlayment, but as a reinforcement for a mud bed installation involving a mix of portland and sand.

I highly suggest you NOT use mastic or pre-mix as a tile adhesive. It is not suited for use in wet areas (i.e. bathrooms). And it is just crud material. It takes forever to fully cure, if it ever does, sometimes months. And if it absorbs any moisture it will cause a break in the bond and then you got popping loose tiles.
Just don't use a mastic or premix. You'll be glad you didn't.

AndyD5 06-05-2007 12:48 PM

It seams that most everywhere but here the floors being done are raised on floor joists the steps for flooring really change in those cases. I've seen it on TV shows etc hundreds of times that it is fine to put tile over vynil but they aren't being specific as to what's under the vynil here and every house I've ever worked in was just concrete. usual process to tile is well cleaned concrete bag mix thinset 1/4# knotch trowel in rainbow pattern and tile then do to our climate variations cure time you're best to check with a professional tile person or look up information online or in books they have tables to help estimate time it takes to cure before you should grout and seal.

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